FONTANA, Calif. (October 25, 2004) --- As the Grand American Road Racing Association heads to California Speedway in a few days for the Lexus Grand American Champions weekend, great racing is sure to culminate on the 2.88-mile, 21-turn auto ...
FONTANA, Calif. (October 25, 2004) --- As the Grand American Road Racing Association heads to California Speedway in a few days for the Lexus Grand American Champions weekend, great racing is sure to culminate on the 2.88-mile, 21-turn auto competition course. Who better to describe the course than Rolex Sports Car Series driver Terry Bocheller, who holds the Daytona Prototype qualifying record at the speedway with a lap of 1:32.314 sec. (109.972 mph) set in 2003. He'll be competing in the No. 54 Bell Motorsports Doran JE4 in the Rolex Series and the No. 11 Powell Motorsport Cadillac CTS-V in the Grand-Am Cup Series.
Join us as Borcheller, in his own words, takes us on a lap around California Speedway:
"Fontana's California Speedway combines a superspeedway with a road course in the middle. These types of tracks are typically difficult to get that flow or rhythm I look for in a purpose-built road course. However, the "rovals," as some have defined, are always excellent viewing for the fans from the grandstands. This track rewards patience and power. If the competition is close, there are only two high-percentage passing zones - into Turn 3 and into Turn 12. That's where patience comes in. If you've got a little torque and horsepower, the front straight and NASCAR Turns 1 and 2 should be yours for the picking.
Going into Turn 1, you need to enter a little high, just off the outside wall. This will enable you to carry a slightly wider arc through 1, eliminating a speed loss because of scrub and helping you take care of the all-important right-front tire. Depending on how good your setup is, you should be able to go flat throughout the banking, through Turn 2 and into the braking zone for Turn 3. A proper line into 1 allows you to open the steering wheel as you go through 2, which also helps reduce the understeer.
Turn 3 starts out with braking markers on the fence to your right. You want to brake as deep as possible, but don't miss the proper angle for the apex. Be patient for a late turn-in and an apex on the backside of the corner. This positioning allows you to get a good run through and off Turn 4 and puts you early on the gas down the short straight. Turns 5 and 6 are actually driven as one corner. Your braking zone is extended into turn 5, so you're braking hard while turning. At the end of the race, this is always a great place to hotdog with a huge slide! If you're watching over there at the end of the Rolex or Grand-Am Cup race, I promise not to disappoint.
You need to get your eyes around for Turn 6 and get the car turned toward the apex for a strong run out. Turns 7A and 8A are a very fast chicane. You've got to hit the entry correctly without hitting the bundle of tires on the apex. Initiated properly, 8A is flat out and puts you very fast into a constantly turning braking zone for the entry of Turn 9. Turn 9 is difficult not to over-drive. Again, patience pays off. Establishing a good braking reference is the key to being able to hit your apex and have a clear exit. There are no number boards, so utilize the track surface for your reference.
Turns 10 and 11 are another fast chicane that requires no brakes, just accurate positioning going in. Watch the curbs here, they can bite! It's important to carry a lot of speed through and out of this chicane because it leads to one of only two really good passing zones, the braking zone for Turn 12. Patience once again with the turn-in and don't over-drive the first section. This will give you speed out of 13 and positioning for 14. This is a critical section and again rewards patience. As you go through 13, 14 and 15, you've got to always be thinking about Turn 16. Too aggressive at the approach to 16 and 17 can kill the entire run onto the front straight.
Turns 18 and 19 are all about positioning and throttle modulation. Just make sure that any lifts through 18 and 19 are partial and early, because going flat and staying there through these corners carries all of your speed through flat-out Turns 20 and 21 and onto the superspeedway.
California should prove to be a great finale with a lot of close racing, drafting and maybe even bumping. See you there!"
Join Borcheller and watch him as he masters California Speedway during the Lexus Grand American Champions Weekend on October 29-31. Tickets are $30 for Sunday, $20 for Saturday and $10 for Friday. A three-day pass is also available for $45. Children 12 and under are free.
For ticket and event information, call 800-944-RACE  or log onto www.californiaspeedway.com.